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Give a Little to Gain a Lot: Why You Should Support Local Indie Artists

Indie artists can be found anywhere. There’s a high chance that they exist in your towns and neighborhoods. Today, we discuss why you should support your local indie artists.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s begin the discourse as to why you should support local indie artists!

Their shows are budget friendly

If you’re looking for a night of fun and music, looking up a local gig is a way to go about it. Most independent artists don’t really charge much for their live performances. They’re just happy to get a chance to perform and practice their audience banter.

From a budget standpoint, your local venues charge drastically depending on who’s playing. You can expect to pay around $5-$10 for a local indie artist. When it’s someone already established, you can look forward to paying something around $50 or more.

It goes to show that you don’t have to pay a lot of money to have a good time. Who knows, you just might be in the presence of someone who’s going to make it big one day.

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Their performances are more personal

What a lot of big time performers tend to miss is the feel and atmosphere of an indie performance. The venue isn’t all that big so the audience is pretty close to the performer. It creates a pretty beautiful moment between the artist and who they are performing for.

Big shows tend to lose this as they’re held in larger venues. There’s a higher chance of you making eye contact with an indie artist while they’re performing rather than your big time performer. We take a personal performance over a commercial one, any day.

Supporting local indie artists helps the community

Local artists are an important part of your community’s culture. When artists are recognized, it builds a better sense of community for everyone. It also helps that Indie performers usually hold their shows at local venues. So not only are you helping an indie performer out, you’re also helping the local business. Indie performers often have ties with the local printers for their merchandise and posters. When you support local indie shows, you enable them to further patronize local businesses.

When everyone supports local businesses, the stronger your local economy gets in the long run.

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Indie Performances cover a lot of different genres

Music is a part of life, we know it and you know it. While you may have you own preferences, it’s ultimately better if you keep an open mind regarding the music you listen to. Indie artists cover a wide range of genres, so you might just end up pleasantly surprised.

One of the best things about being an indie artist is that they’re not tied down to a particular style. So you can pretty much expect local indie artists to keep changing their style until they find one that they’re comfortable with.

To Conclude

It’s hard enough being an independent artist. Show them some love by finding out local gigs and giving them the support that they deserve!

For the Undecided: Pros and Cons of Indie Labels

Being an indie artist doesn’t mean that you go at it alone. There are now Indie Labels to help boost your career. Today, we discuss the pros and cons of Indie Labels.

By definition, an indie or independent artist means that they function separately and autonomously from large scale commercial labels. However, as the years went on, communities and establishments realized that indie artists in their area had a lot to offer.

It was great how some people in these communities eventually galvanized together in order to create Indie Labels.

What is an Indie Label?

An independent label or an Indie Label is one that exists without major funding or backing by a company or entity. They usually start small are comprised of tightly knit communities and individuals.

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Cons of joining an Indie Label

Like all things in life, there are potential cons in joining an Indie label, especially for indie musicians.

Funding

One of the best ways to get the world to know you exist is through massive publicity and marketing tactics. Tours, promotions, interviews—the works—are usually outside of the grasp of small-time indie records. Indie labels don’t always have the necessary funds to launch wide and extensive campaigns to promote their artists.

A risk that indie artists usually have to take with smaller labels is to put in their own money into their own career. This isn’t to suggest that there are no bigger indie records out there, of course.

Less Pull in Networking

One of the reasons why bigger labels get to propel their talents toward the top of the world in no time flat is because of already established labels have connections in all the necessary places. As most indie labels start small, their reach is hardly far-reaching.

If an indie artist were gunning for a fast shot to the spotlight, an indie record label may not be a good fit.

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Pros of joining an Indie Label

Let’s shake off the doom and gloom! Not everything about indie labels is bad. Let us now shift your attention toward the pros!

Creative freedom

One of the best things about indie labels is that they have much respect for the craft and process of artists. While are reasonable expectations given like date of completion, the artists are free to pursue a genre change or collaborations on their own discretion.

Larger labels have often been described as a machine that constantly comes up with record after record. In order to maintain that, they sign up a lot of artists and curb their creative freedom. Instead, they are given a patter to keep and market it as they see fit.

Profit for the artist

What people don’t really realize is that major record labels put their own earnings before the earnings of the artist. This is just how it has always been. Indie labels often have a shared profit agreement, usually 60-40 with sixty belonging to the artist.

To close

As you can see, there are pros and cons when it comes to dealing with Indie Labels. So before you commit to anything, it’s best to know what you want to do with your music.

Nine Famous Musicians That Are Actually Indie Artists

There is a misconception that Indie artists never break through the music industry. Let’s change that. Join us as we list off 10 famous musicians that are actually Indie Artists.

Radiohead

Known men in the genre of Alternative Rock, these Englishmen from Abingdon, Oxfordshire pretty much rocked the world with their song “Creep”. This song pretty much became the anthem of anyone who felt like they didn’t quite fit in.

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Gorillaz

This virtual band from England is releasing their new album this year. However, despite massive commercial success, they are actually an indie band that isn’t signed on to any major label. Pretty impressive for a bunch of colorful characters!

Death Cab for Cutie

This famous American band has never signed up with a major music label. Instead, they mostly keep to organic and smalltime American labels. Who says that you need to have famous representation to land great deals and soundtrack features?

Florence + the Machine

We’re very doubtful that you haven’t heard the hauntingly melodic voice of Florence Welch. This lady and her band have reached massive successes and won awards like MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction and Brit Award for MasterCard British Album of the Year to name a few. You’ll find a grand selection of their songs on Youtube and other streaming sites. As her vocal styling is a favorite for TV and movies, there’s a high chance you’ve already heard one of her songs. You just don’t realize it.

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Coldplay

Coldplay is one of the continuously successful bands of the recent decade. They have massive hits and sold out world tours. The band’s constant shift from one musical genre to another is a freedom that Indie artists continue to enjoy. Coldplay has won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year which is a great honor. So if there was anyone to be a gold example of how big Indie artists can get, Coldplay is the go-to showpiece.

Oasis

We’re certain that you’ve heard the song “Wonderwall”. This song was made popular by the Gallagher brothers and it dominated music charts all over the world. While no longer together, both brothers continue to enjoy success in their own musical careers.

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Nirvana

This band is arguably one of the most famous bands in the world. The ill-fated frontman Kurt Cobain has left a fixed mark in the music industry. With their many awards and highly successful songs, they were the pillars of grunge culture.

The Strokes

This American rock group was hailed as the embodiment of post-punk revival. While it can be argued that there are many that do not consider The Strokes as a band that has “made it”, their record sales and massive fan base begs to differ.

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The White Stripes

This Rock Duo has raised a lot of eyebrows through the years. However, there is no denying their solid sound. Their song Seven Nation Army has been the favorite of movies and badass scenes of the recent decade.

As you can see, Indie Artists can and have made it big!

Fun at the Gong Show with Lobster Repair

Looking back on how far indie artists have come is one of our favorite pastimes. Today, we’ll be looking back on how Lobster Repair had a fun time at the Gong Show.

Why is it important to look back?

When you’re discussing a topic like music, you can’t expect it to stay the same forever. Music is a craft that continues to evolve with time and with every generation that’s born. We’ve seen its evolution from the start of human history and we still see it today.

The indie scene and indie artists have always been the sort of underdog when it comes to everything music related. If you think it’s tough trying to break into the industry now, you should imagine what it was like when the internet wasn’t around. Indie artists had to really haul ass to really get the word out about their band and their performance.

As most stations preferred commercial bands, it was really difficult for indie bands to put a toe into the door of success. Now that’s it’s been how many years since the constant change of music and the music industry, we’re offered a great hindsight into how indie artists tried to really make it work without “selling out” so to speak.

While it was truly difficult back then, this didn’t mean that indie players did not have champions giving them a great chance at success. One of these champions what the Gong Show.

What is the Gong Show?

This was an amateur talent contest that was around in the 70s. Think X-Factor with the judges and everything. This show offered anyone a chance to show their stuff on TV. In July of 1978, Lobster Repair competed and performed the song Day-O. This song you may know to be a traditional Jamaican song that was made popular by artist Harry Belafonte.

Lobster Repair brought their guitars, maracas, and hats and won the hearts of judges. There were big smiles all around! They were declared winners of that particular episode and went on to gain a modicum of success afterwards.

What is Lobster Repair?

Lobster Repair is an indie band that came to be back in the 70s. While it’s been a while since their incarnation, they’re still pretty much alive in the indie scene. What made them stand out back then was their primary use of acoustic guitar and play style.

It was those that saw Lobster Repair that day (and their subsequent live plays) that got inspired to pick up their own instruments.

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Indies and Instruments

Indie players usually placed a lot of emphasis on the simplicity of the instruments they play. The subsequent beauty that comes forth is one of the reasons why indie players continue to stay in the sphere of music. In today’s world, there are more ways to make sure that your sound is at its peak. One of those ways is through a studio set up. It’s highly possible with good studio monitors on your side.

Let the fun that Lobster Repair had on the Gong Show remind you the fun you can have while you’re playing your tunes.

Obscure No More: Shining the Spotlight on the Indies

When the time came that music was viewed as a product, it was inevitable that divides would occur: those backed by companies and those who go at it alone. Today, we take a closer look at the latter. The ones that stand apart from large companies that produce and promote musicians are called Independent artists or Indies.

What is an Indie?

An independent artist or musician is anyone that produces music without the aid of an already established commercial record company or their investors. Being independent means that artists or bands get to produce or create their music in complete creative freedom.

A common issue in larger scale productions are the interference that’s usually done by producers, engineers, record label owners and their investors. If you’ve ever seen the movie Dreamgirls, it is exactly what you see Curtis (played by Jamie Lee Fox) does to the artists around him. When the others wanted to create a song that was deemed to be a “message” song, Curtis shut that down and instead put forward songs that he felt would lead to better sales.

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It is indeed sad that “creative differences” or “artistic differences” often lead to the career demise or standstill of a promising artist. What’s even worse is that these artists are often so tangled in legal contracts that they literally cannot make music even if they had the means to. The contract options that major labels come up put the label’s needs and returns first and foremost.

This is why the independent artist scene is seen to be quite ideal. No one gets to impede or halt your creative process. You get to build the songs that you want to. However, this isn’t to say that everything is all roses in the independent scene.

Indie Woes

Indie artists often find themselves in the midst of either a massive market of other indie performers or opposition from a talent backed by a major label. Most radio stations often prioritize releases from artists that come from major labels. You could say that this form of discrimination led to the payola system back in the day.

While indie artists get to enjoy full creative freedom, this does not automatically lead to commercially successful songs or lucrative returns. Exposure can be quite difficult for independent artists. Most indie artists rely on word of mouth or reviews from performances to get the word out about them. Back in the day, this was very hard to do.

If anything, this emphasizes that Indie artists need support for a healthy community.

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Indie Music still has a Future

Indie music has been around ever since the term “commercial music” came to be. While there a lot of them that don’t reach worldwide success, they enjoy a very lucrative career touring the local indie scenes.

Indie music is a music career on hard mode. So in order for there to be successful artists, there needs to be support. That is what Squid Music and many other supporters of indie music hope to provide.